Thursday, June 30, 2005


my friend sonya's cat, pearl, had three wonderful kittens this past sunday. sonya is currently in norway, so i have been visiting these kitties all week long--they are so tiny and sweet that i just had to share them with the world! this picture is of the cat family on tuesday when the babies were a mere three days old. beautiful.
note: there are a few more pictures on flickr if you feel like checking them out--just click on the pic above.

pink martini

last weekend my girlfriends aimee and karen came to town to hang out. conveniently, this coincided with one of jason's game weekends up in pittsburgh, so we had the run of things all by ourselves.

aimee and karen stayed in this lovely B&B in our neighborhood--it was GORGEOUS, and they were both very pleased with it. i was pleased to finally be able to go inside this house--i have been dying to look inside it since we moved into the hood. and they were kind enough to let me come for breakfast on sunday--that was really nice.

pretty much, we ate, we shopped, we ate, we drank, and when we were done, we took some advil and then ate.

saturday night, we went to an outdoor symphony featuring pink martini, this FABULOUS orchestra from oregon. they are this fusion of classical, latin, swing, caberet, and torch style music. it was really really cool. (both of their CDs are on their website in their entirety--definitely worth checking out if you feel like listening to a little music.) luckily my friend tina from work was there and had a table with extra seats--she totally saved us!!! we had lawn seats, and we went at a normal pre-concert time thinking that would be fine--little did we know that people apparently show up in the early afternoon to stake out their spots on the lawn. it was PACKED! so--thank goodness for tina who called me to offer up her table for us to share. it was AWESOME--we ate cheese, drank wine, and everyone made fun of me for bringing real dishes and cloth napkins. what can i say? i like a special occasion to be special.

i took karen and aimee to my favorite restaurants and bars around town, and that was all good. unfortunately, we are apparently not too old to be hit on by morons in bars. while we were talking among ourselves, sipping pink martinis and smoking cigars, a couple of STUPID guys utterly intruded upon us! they would not leave no matter how mean we were, and they were generally doing their best leech impersonations for half the night. they made fun of where we went to school--we made fun of their cheap wattered-down scotch. when we finally got rid of them, we walked back to my house and sat up half the night on the porch talking and drinking vanilla almond martinis made by yours truly. MUCH better!

all in all, a great but exhausting weekend. makes me wish more of my girlfriends lived closer. *sigh*

yuck yuck yuck

i have lots of nice and happy and fabulous things to blog about, but right now i am too depressed. i just had to call a woman and tell her that her missing cat is dead. blah. i wish i hdan't even seen the poor kitty, who was hit by a car last friday night, right in front of this woman's house. i am filled with sadness for her. she cried. i cried. not a good way to start the day.


i will blog about something better later, i promise.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

hippie's last day

today was the hippie's last day at the company where we met and where both of us work. worked. well--I still work there. anyway...

he is going to work for his previous employer and will finally get back to doing work he loves, which is terribly exciting. plus this new place is only 5 miles from the current one, which means i can still see him for lunch. yay! the sad part is that we have been commuting together, and now we really won't be able to. plus, it has been kind of nice having him so close by during the day, even if we don't really hang out much at work. still--these are small sacrafices to make for having him in a position where he is going to be so much happier. and hopefully this will mean the end of the 100+ hour work weeks he has been faced with for the past few months--personally, i am tired of those! and whatever else happens, he now has two blissful weeks of unemployment ahead with a job waiting on the other side: bliss. and he gets to start it off with a game weekend with his boys, so double and tripple yay for the hippie!

love you hippie! congratulations!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

new blog

i started a new blog today to go along with my new resolution to try to lose some weight. not my first such resolution by any stretch, but i am hoping this one will stick. i started to keep this new blog unpublished and to myself, but i figure--what the hell--a little support from those of you guys who are interested can't hurt the cause. if you are so inclined, check out southern fried fat. if you are not interested--no worries--that's why i made it into a separate entity to begin with. either way--wish me luck!

Friday, June 17, 2005

reading: Assassination Vacation

Assassination Vacation, by Sarah Vowell
fabulous! this is the first book i have truly enjoyed in a long while. whether you are a history buff or not (i am not!), sarah vowell makes it all extremely interesting. she is witty and sarcastic and political, and while you may not agree with all her views, she will definitely make you think. further, she will also make you laugh. basically, she took herself on a little tour of the people and places associated, even very loosely, with the assassinations of presidents lincoln, mckinley, and garfield. she went everywhere and wrote about everything. as much of the book is about her experiences in all these historical locations as is about the history itself. i was amused the whole time, and i learned a TON about these presidents and their assassins. any writer who can pull THAT off is, in my opinion, a great one. i can't wait to check out her other books! bottom line: HIGHLY recommended.

note: sarah vowell is also a contributing editor on this american life, a frequent contributor to and mcsweeny's, and the voice of violet parr in the pixar movie, the incredibles.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

yarn sale!

my LYS had a GREAT sale a couple of weeks ago, and check out my haul! all of this yarn was about a hundred bucks, and covers at least ten christmas presents--excellent! i bought some stuff for which i have plans, some i don't have a clue what i will do with, and a lot of high quality orphan singles to use for small projects (a one skein wonder, perhaps?) and/or trimming. it's kind of silly how excited i get over new craft supplies--makes me feel like an actual real knitter.

meanwhile, this picture of scout was too amusing and too typical of cats not to share. i finished knitting this blue, soon-to-be-felted bag, laid it out on the couch, turned my back for all of two seconds, and scout immediately turned it into a temporary cat bed. what is it with cats and the need to be on the new thing, whatever that may be? maybe it is as the hippie says, and all cats are Bad Cats. good thing they are so cute, even when they are being bad. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


the winter before last, i took the pruners to these two enormous bushes beside our front porch. no one had trimmed them at all in at least ten years, and they were not only tangled together, but they were also ugly, leggy, and taller than the house. so i decided to cut them way way back to see what happened--if they didn't make it, i would just pull them out and put something new in. against all advice, i cut them back to about 1/6 of their original heights, shaped them up, and waited. (i also pulled my back in the process and could hardly walk for 2 months, but that is another story. let's just say i should have either gotten a better tool (read: chainsaw) or some help (read: hippie), but i am stubborn and was determined to do it myself (read: moron). but anyway...) so that spring, they leafed out a little, but looked crappy, and i thought they would not make it. but i am a hopeful person, so i just left them alone--this spring, i didn't even trim them.

well--last night i was watering all the outside plants (which took like 40 minutes!), and i kept getting these faint whiffs of gardenia. and i was like--WHERE is that coming from? i followed the smell, and lo and behold--my gardenia is blooming! and not just a little--it is full and bushy and COVERED in beautiful, sweet-smelling blossoms! it is still in need of a little shaping, and it is still all entangled with the other bush, which is also blooming. but man--it was such an unexpected treat! i cut one and brought it into the house, and now my whole kitchen smells like gardenias. yay for blossoms! :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

rant: wolf camera

one of my goals for saturday (in addition to cleaning the world) was to get prints made of some pictures from the beach from a couple of years ago. they are specific pictures, long planned for this extremely cool frame from pottery barn that the hippie gave me for christmas. so i put the pictures on the SD card in my fabulous phone, and i take it with me on a target run so i can make prints there. but NOOOOOOO! target is upgrading their photo equipment and i am DENIED!

so. we get home, walk up to the local wolf camera, go over to the digital photo printing kiosk, put the card in, pick the images i want to print, and click "print." seems simple enough, right? then i take the receipt up to the guy at the counter, but the register isn't working. in fact, NONE of the registers are working. so we wait while they reboot their system. then the guy takes the receipt, and prints out a different receipt and hands it to me. and i am like--but where are the prints? and he is all, "these will be ready at 6." so, i am wondering WHY he can't walk to the back and get them out of the printer--i mean, they ARE digital media and not actual film to be developed, and i did click "print," which you would THINK would PRINT the pictures--but whatever--we leave. at 6:15, we come back. they are CLOSED. they closed AT SIX. so i ask you--what the fuck? and are they open on sunday??? NOOOO! so yeah. i STILL don't have pictures for my frame. i guess i will try to make it there before they close today. anyway--this is my second bad experience at wolf camera, which appears to be run by morons and provide bad, but very expensive service. ugh!

Monday, June 13, 2005

slow day at the office

after the last two work weeks being absolutely full throttle, today is actually kind of boring. i have a few things to do, but nothing earth-shattering. my bosses are at a conference in a different time zone, all tied up in meetings and out of touch with me--thus, i have little to do. i am just keeping on top of things and trying not to mourn the fact that i am not home knitting. adding to the boredom, the sam has deserted me to go home to her 'rents this week, leaving me without the running YM conversation that keeps me going throughout the day. *sigh*

all that said, once i make it through the long afternoon ahead, i have something fabulous to look forward to! our friend mary is flying in tonight! YAY! she is just one of the most awesome people on the planet, and i LOVE it when she comes to stay. her birthday was last week, so we are taking her out to frazier's tonight to celebrate. whoo hoo!

this weekend, we ran about 9M errands, and i FINALLY found the time to clean the beejezus out of the house. i finished the massive overhaul and re-org of all the bookshelves, and believe me--this is no small undertaking at our house. it took all my evenings for a solid week! we bought a new shelf for the DVDs, so even those are organized. (alphabetizing! my favorite!*) even the tufts of cat hair blowing all over the place are minimized.

odd how much some cleaning can lift my spirits. i have been a little stressed lately, and i tend to nest when stressed out. there is actually a lot going on, but i am not at liberty to discuss it on the internet yet. it's all out of my control, so i think i have just been focussing on the things i CAN control--i.e., the house. i have not even had time to knit as i have been cleaning everything in the world instead.

man, i am boring today! maybe i should have called this post, "slow day on the blog." i promise to get back to normal and to come up with something more interesting to talk about in the very near future.
*not really...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

geeks are better...duh

who doesn't know this already? apparently things i have known for years are now being validated in the news. check out this article: nerds make better lovers. while i dislike the implication in this article that nerds are "less-than-perfect male specimens," and that they are "grateful for what they can get," i DO agree that they are fabulous and awesome and that a geeky man is the best companion a girl could ask for. i sure do love mine, anyway...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

never enough days at the beach

week before last, we were at the beach. and yes--it has taken me this long to get around to writing about it. i have been so freakin' busy catching up from being gone a week, i haven't had time to do much of anything personal since we got back. i am getting back into my groove now, though--this promises to be a really long post.

meredith and i cooked a lot over the course of the week, as we always do. we kind of trade off being each other's sous chef. it's amazing how much we eat and how little we end up spending on it! we spent more on the three times we ate out than we did on the food for the whole rest of the week. for breakfast we had french toast, shrimp and grits, scrambled eggs and thyme with bacon and cheese grits, etc. for dinners, we went all out. we had a beer-boiled shrimp night, a grilled tuna night, a mahi mahi tacos night, a pasta night with lots of fresh shellfish cooked in white wine and lemon... we also made strawberry rhubarb pie, and little key lime pies, and the highlight of all the desserts, the dessert we got to set on FIRE: bananas foster! meredith and i read all these safety precautions, made fun of people who need safety precautions in the kitchen, and then proceeded to follow NONE of them. the heat from the fire actually blew my hair back! it's hard to tell in this picture, but my arm is actually IN the fire. stupid? maybe. fun? yes. will we do that again? DEFINITELY.

the hippie spent the week either working or hanging out smoking ceegars on the deck with grant and brent and jeff and chad. he's so cute when he's all laid back and chillin'--i could just eat him up! but i digress... those boys went through about 4 bottles of scotch and a couple of bottles of whiskey as well. meredith and i forewent that for some pineapple infused vodka martinis (from last month's bon appetit). the vodka took a couple of days to make, but it was damned fine in the end. and our drinks were absolutely GORGEOUS--isn't that what really counts?

i did a little knitting at the beach, even though i STILL have not gotten started on the crumpets top. i DID manage to whip out this little pink critter hat for ella, using yarn i found for less than two dollars in a really random craft store the hippie and i stumbled across while out shopping for his new kite. the hat came out really cute, fit her perfectly (i totally guessed!), and turned out to be a good idea, as it was pretty chilly on the boat when we went sailing--she wore the hat the whole time. :)

the requisite group shot of the group as we are sailing back into the harbor at beaufort after going on a sunset sail. yes, meredith is actually driving the boat! this has become such a tradition for us. this is the 6th year that we have managed to go on vacation together. some have not made it every year, but meredith, jeff, grant, and i have gone every time. i hope we are still going in 30 years, when the kids are having kids. i love these people so much--they are, as meredith said, part of our chosen family. what a fabulous week--i wish we had stayed longer...

there are a ton of pictures in the new gallery the hippie made on our web server--check them out here.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

30-minute dinner for two:
mediterranean chicken stew

voilá--to make amends for being away so long, i offer you 30-minute dinner #2: mediterranean chicken stew. this recipe is something i whipped up on the fly when we were hardcore into the south beach diet. yes--it's healthy and yes--you can even eat this during the first phase of the diet. it's also awfully tasty and quick to make. and the big bonus is that this meal is all cooked in a single pan--just say yes to easy clean-up!

  • 1 whole boneless chicken breast (or two split breasts--same thing)
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • about 1/3 of a large yellow onion
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small (14.5 oz.) can of peeled, whole tomatoes
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 fresh bay leaf or 3 dried ones
  • 10-12 stalks of asparagus
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and fresh black pepper to taste


food prep first: cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces, slice the celery stalks into 1/2-inch slices, and sliver the onion. next drain the artichoke hearts, cut each in half, and set aside. pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet for which you have a lid. add the garlic through a press and heat on med-high heat until the oil is hot. add the chicken and quickly stir so that each piece is coated with olive oil. immediately add celery and onion and sautee until the chicken is slightly browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. add white wine and crush tomatoes into the pan with your hands. (note: you can also used diced tomatoes if you prefer--i did tonight because that is what i happened to have on hand.) stir and bring to a boil. add artichoke hearts (progresso is my preferred brand--again, not what i had on hand tonight), thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and some fresh black pepper. reduce heat to low/medium, cover, and let simmer for about 13 minutes. meanwhile cut asparagus into bite sized pieces. after 13 minutes, add asparagus to the pan and continue cooking, covered, for about 5-6 more minutes. remove from heat and sqeeze the lemon into the stew. remove the herbs and add salt and pepper to taste.

when not south beaching, the hippie and i eat this with some hard crusty bread, preferably someting with rosemary in it, like the rosemary demi-batard we got from whole foods for tonight. it's also good with some fresh parmesan shredded on top. i recommend serving this stew with a light red wine such as sogno divino montepulciano d'abruzzo from italy, which is a mere $8.50 a bottle at our local wine store.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

not dead yet...

man, i haven't posted in forever, and this post promises to be REALLY lame. i was planning to post from the beach, but that never quite came together. and since i got home, i have been going full throttle at work trying to catch up from being gone for a whole week. for now, suffice it to say that the beach was fabulous, that pictures are coming, and that i will be posting again very, very soon. right now, however, i have to go fold some laundry and roll up a bunch of change. can you hear the excitement in my voice? can you?!